Celebrating Living & Dying

To see each day as a lifetime: there's a beauty in this.

Most civilizations are too cosmetic about death: death is presented as hermetically detached from living. As a result, few people are keenly aware of how they are dying each day. On of the most important Buddhist meditations is the contemplation of death. It makes the gift of living seem all the more precious. A human birth is a remarkable gift.

The most important lessons in life come when confronting our limitations. That is when spiritual transformations take place. Only after the ego cracks and one begins to see how the world does not operate around any single person do deeper discoveries take place. Some people are not able to bear this strain, seeking escape into fantasies or even suicide. Yet whether we realize it or not, the chance for deeper discoveries is always present. So enjoy life with grace and humor without fear of cracks or bumps: those hold the seeds for great discoveries.

Fossils are excellent teachers. Each fossil is a time capsule from a bygone age. Species long since extinct are often preserved in an adamantine rock-cage. Our civilization, too, will someday become a series of fossils. What sort of creatures will examine our debris?

Basically, funerals are a waste of money. Moreover, standard burial practices are ecologically unsound. Fertile land should be devoted to the living. I would like to see all cemeteries become productive fields. All life is part of a Great Recycling. To keep corpses in an elaborate coffins or reserve plots of ground solely for burial space doesn't make sense on a planet with over six billion. If the dead wish for some kind of marker, let their ashes be transformed into new seeds. Perhaps it is time to construct virtual cemeteries with cyber tombstones. On a crowded planet, people should consider using digital cemeteries.

If possible, before going to sleep each night gaze at the stars: it's a good way to remember our insignificance. People who gaze at the stars regularly seldom worry about trivial things and their eyes have a curious clarity.

We are all time travelers: past, present, and potential futures co-mingle. Visionaries know how to time travel. You can experiment and send messages through time. At certain stages in life, it is useful to receive "a message from a bottle". And not all bottles float in the oceans of space - many are drifting in the Great Sea of Time.

A wise friend once told me –
               Every day I live, I die a little.
               When I remember I die a little
               Every day, I live a bit better.
Her words are with me to this day.